Restaurant Review: ReViVer, Wild, Back Forty

Restaurant Review Blog
ReViVer, Wild, Back Forty
By Laura Cipullo and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team

 

Sometimes it can be hard to find a balanced choice for dinner or lunch that is delicious and consciously prepared. Luckily, the team at Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services has found 3 wonderful restaurants that fit the bill. Read on to learn where to go and what to get on your next meal out.

 

ReViVer
(934 8th avenue between 55th and 56th street)
www.revivernyc.com

 

ReViVer is a great pick-up and go place located near Columbus Circle. If you’re in need of fast food that’s actually nutritious, then look no further. The restaurant’s mission is to have “the perfect union of culinary art and nutrition science.” The menu was developed with the help of a Registered Dietitian to provide balanced dishes that meet certain nutritional pre-requisites – and it actually tastes good! When I ate there, I noticed there were many options for the carnivore or vegetarian.

At Reviver, there are four core Food Principles: Balance, Nutritious, Clean, and Pure. Each dish is balanced to have proportions of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Each dish is nutritious in that it promotes vegetables, fruits, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. They also have a futuristic technology they use to cook their antibiotic-free and hormone-free proteins, which is used to prepare the mahi-mahi tacos.

ReviverTaco

Think of ReViVer as your go-to for a quick lunch or dinner. It’s something you would make at home, but just don’t have the time to do. The restaurant is also now on seamless, making your dinner plans that much easier.

Eating at ReViVer is every New Yorker’s dream for healthy take-out. Your palate will be satisfied and your heart will be happy and healthy.

 

Wild
(535 Hudson Street between Charles St. and Perry St.)
www.eatdrinkwild.com 

Wild

It’s time to go wild over some delicious pasta, pizza and veggies. Wild in the West Village offers many conscious options for diners. It’s a great place to eat-in or pick-up for lunch and dinner. Wild’s mission is to “give people a positive environment to eat nourishing, yummy food, and offer true piece of mind.” There are three locations: West Village, Williamsburg and now, Las Vegas.

SkinnyB*tchPizza

The Skinny B*tch Pizza is more than just a brazen name. Served on a gluten-free vegan crust, it’s made to taste more like a cheese-less flatbread than a pizza, most definitely worth ordering. The eggplant and squash have a great deal of flavor, which paired well with the house-made tomato sauce. We also sampled the Wild Mushroom Herb Pasta served with wild arugula. That was delicious. The only setback here was we were hoping to try the Spaghetti Limone Parmigiano (basically a lemon pasta) that was featured on the online menu, but it was not available when we got to the restaurant.

If you’re looking for a simple and solid salad, the Wild Arugula is a safe bet. More adventurous eaters may opt for the Quinoa salad (with curry) or the Kale Salad (with smoked tofu).

Finally, we discuss the sweets. Wild caught our eye when we saw they had a Kale Cupcake. Now, we’ve seen kale in just about everything. But, a cupcake? This we had to try. Alas, that wasn’t available either. We opted for the vegan and gluten-free coconut brownie that was very fudgy and rich.

Even though there were a few menu inconsistencies, Wild is worth a visit. Your body and mind will thank you.

 

Back Forty
(190 Avenue B #1 between 11th and 12th street)
www.backfortynyc.com 

BackFortyCod

If you’re looking for a cozy farm-to-table experience, Back Forty has got you covered. The food is very fresh, and they source their veggies from local farms upstate.

You can’t go wrong with the halibut. Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Service clients say this is one of their favorite dishes there. As we expected, the menu changes with the seasons. If you can, try and sit in the garden while the weather is still pleasant. According to the website, Back Forty is a burger joint deep down, but a consciously sourced one at that. There are also plenty of options for vegetarians to enjoy.

They also have a Westside location on Prince Street, for those unable to venture into alphabet city. This summer Back Forty is offering Crab Boils in the East Village location if you’re looking for a chef-driven way to celebrate the season.

Healthy Fast Food: The New Norm?

Healthy Fast Food: The New Norm?
By: Laura Cipullo, RD CDE CEDRD CDN and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team

 

For all of you New Yorkers out there, have you noticed the new trend on the streets of NYC? And, no, we’re not talking about shoes, clothes, or fashion trends. We’re talking about fast food: healthy, fast food to be exact.

 

If you’ve walked down a city street recently, you’ve most likely noticed a new restaurant or food store. While New York City is known for its abundance of restaurants and diverse food scene, we’ve been noticing a trend among newly opened restaurants. Not only are they focusing on fast service, but also, they’re offering healthier menu options to boot. To name a few, we’ve made a list of some these healthier restaurants, a couple in NYC and a handful located across the US:

 

 

Chipotle

www.chipotle.com

Setting: Sit-Down/Takeout

Cuisine: Mexican

Kids’ Menu: Yes

Price: $$

 

Chipotle offers a Mexican cuisine with sit-down and takeout options. This restaurant is vegetarian and vegan-friendly, plus the majority of their menu is gluten-free, as long as you avoid the tortillas. We love the fact that many of the menu items have a high amount of fiber and protein; you can view this by using their nifty nutrition calculator! Their vast food options make Chipotle a great place to eat, whether you want to sit and relax or pick up while you’re out and about.

Photo Credit: Mr. T in DC via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Mr. T in DC via Compfight cc

Our favorite lunch options:

  • Veggie burrito bowl with black beans and brown rice. With just over 500 calories, this veggie bowl has over 30 grams of fiber and about 13 grams of protein, this veggie bowl makes a fast and balanced meal.
  • Chicken quesadillas with black beans and brown rice. This children’s meal option ranks in with under 500 calories, 12 grams of fiber and over 25 grams of protein. Even though it’s for the kids, we adults like to order this from time to time.

 

 

Fresh & Co

www.freshandconyc.com

Setting: Sit-Down/Takeout

Cuisine: Traditional

Kids’ Menu: No

Price: $$

 

Fresh&Co is a popular lunch choice for those working in Midtown Manhattan. With pre-prepared meals and freshly prepared items on their menu, you are sure to find something to suit your fancy. Fresh&Co serves locally grown foods that are free from synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and additives. They offer salads, pastas, and sandwiches on their menu, all of which can be calculated on their nutrition calculator found on their website.

Photo courtesy of Fresh & Co
Photo courtesy of Fresh & Co
  • Sesame Ginger Seitan with quinoa, kale, seitan, white cabbage, carrots, daikon, broccoli, scallions, pickled ginger and cilantro with soy ginger sauce this is a delicious lunch/dinner option that will surely satisfy.
  • Long Island Local salad with kale, baby spinach, baby arugula, grilled chicken, grilled sunchokes, and apples this salad is loaded with healthy greens and has over 20 grams of protein from the chicken, making this a great meal to grab during your lunch break.

 

 

Hu Kitchen

www.hukitchen.com

Setting: Sit-Down/Takeout

Cuisine: Natural

Kids’ Menu: No

Price: $$$

 

On its website, Hu Kitchen totes itself as the first “ultra-high quality restaurant and market” that makes food for humans. Hu Kitchen works under an 8 Pillar approach: “unprocess, count ingredients – not calories, pull plants – push animals, minimize grains – always whole, embrace fat, get back to animal too, sweeten wisely, and eat clean”. Located just below Union Square, on 5th Avenue, Hu Kitchen offers everything from fresh juices and coffee, to soups and burritos. Plus, their entire restaurant is gluten-free, and a good majority of the menu is dairy and grain-free. While the prices can be a bit steep, you know that you’re getting quality nutrition for your buck.

Our favorite lunch options:

  • Grandmaster Veg with eggplant, carrots, green cabbage, cashews, garlic, chili flakes, and a homemade marinara sauce this is a vegetable powerhouse of a lunch.
  • Hu Bowls with options of quinoa, vegetable mash, or a vegetable medley, these bowls are sure to please. Plus you can add beef, mushroom, or chicken on top for some added protein.

 

 

Hummus and Pita

www.hummusandpitas.com

Setting: Sit-Down/Takeout

Cuisine: Mediterranean

Kids’ Menu: No

Price: $$

 

This lovely establishment currently has two NYC locations, Chelsea and TriBeCa, and is a great option when you’re looking for a quick meal. Whether you want to sit at a table, order takeout, or have your lunch delivered to work, Hummus and Pita, Co can do it all! With a make-your-own-meal style, you can virtually customize any dish to your liking. There are a number of vegetarian options and while there is not a separate children’s menu, you can find a variety of options for kids. We especially love their large selection of hummus!

Our favorite lunch options:

  • Falafel pita with beet salad, chickpeas, hummus and tzatziki. This lunch option comes in at just over 500 calories, 16 grams of fiber, and over 20 grams of protein.
  • Chicken taboon bowl with baba ganoosh, corn and carrot salad, brown rice and tahini this meal is a great source of protein, complex carbohydrates and fat.

 

 

Muscle Maker Grill

www.musclemakergrill.com

Setting: Sit-Down/Takeout

Cuisine: Traditional

Kids’ Menu: Yes

Price: $$

 

This franchise first opened shop in Colonia, New Jersey. Due to its increasing popularity, owner, Rod Silva, officially made Muscle Maker a franchise in 2007 and now has over 200 restaurants across the US. The restaurant offers salads, wraps, and shakes, just to name a few items. Plus, they provide a children’s menu, cater to vegetarians and offer some gluten-free options. With so many locations, Muscle Maker Grill makes a great option for those looking for a quick, and healthy meal.

Our favorite lunch options:

  • European wrap with grilled chicken, spinach, roasted peppers and Parmesan cheese. This meal boasts over 40 grams of protein which will leave you feeling satisfied until dinnertime.
  • El Mexicana with grilled chicken, fajita vegetables, cheese and salsa all served over brown rice and beans. It’s a tasty dish making it a great choice for lunch or a convenient dinner.

 

 

Prêt A Manger

www.pret.com

Setting: Sit-Down/Takeout

Cuisine: Traditional

Kids’ Menu: No

Price: $$
If you live in NYC, you’ve probably seen a few Pret A Manger’s around. This franchise is a great place to go when you’re looking for a salad or wrap to go, or if you want to sit and enjoy a coffee. With a café-like environment, Pret A Manger offers a nice environment and good quality food. Their website states that they create handmade natural food and avoid ‘prepared’ and ‘fast’ foods. They offer online ordering and are conveniently located around the city, making them a great option for your new lunch spot.

Screen shot 2014-03-03 at 2.39.10 PM
Photo courtesy of Prêt A Manger

 

Our favorite lunch options:

  • Balsamic chicken sandwich with antibiotic free chicken, avocado, mesclun, and balsamic vinegar served on granary bread. This meal is an easy grab and go sandwich with 8 grams of fiber and 19 grams of protein. So when you’re in a rush and literally need to pick up a sandwich, you can find this tasty sandwich waiting for you at Prêt A Manger.
  • Aztec quinoa chili with cannellini and pinto beans, quinoa, amaranth and millet, this grain-filled chili won’t disappoint. Not only is it suitable for vegans and vegetarians, but it also has over 10 grams of both protein and fiber.  

 

 

 

We have to ask: do you think that these establishments are changing the face of fast food? We love the fact that we can purchase food conveniently without having to sacrifice nutrition or taste. We’d love to know your thoughts on these healthier fast food options!

 

Nutrition Trends: 2014 Edition

Photo Credit: Glyn Lowe Photoworks, 2 Million Views, Thanks via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Glyn Lowe Photoworks, 2 Million Views, Thanks via Compfight cc

Nutrition Trends: 2014 Edition
By Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE, CEDRD, CDN and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team

 

We took to the blogosphere earlier this year to highlight the food trends of 2013. We focused on chia seeds, natural sugar “alternatives”, self-monitoring, gluten-free foods, juicing, and leading a simpler life. And we have to say that those trends were pretty accurate. In honor of the New Year quickly approaching we wanted to share some of our predicted food trends of 2014.

Alternative Sugars

There’s no question that alternative sugars have become increasingly popular these past few years. With products like Stevia and coconut sugar leading the way last year, we have a hunch that Pyure will take the lead this coming year. It’s organic, non-GMO, and has a decent amount of fiber in a serving. According to their website, Pyure is an organic stevia blended with agave inulin fiber, which can act as a probiotic and digestive aids. With claims like that, we foresee a surge in popularity for this stevia sweetener. This does not mean we are fans rather we are just letting you know!

Beans, Beans, They’re Good for your Heart…

The editors at Eatocracy predict that beans will be a big trend among the culinary scene come 2014. We’d have to agree with them. Chefs have been featuring more protein-rich beans on their menus. We love it! Beans are a great source of fiber, protein, not to mention vitamins and minerals. Plus, they hold up well and can serve as the protein source in a main dish. It’s quite the win-win situation for restaurants, as beans are typically less expensive than meat and they draw in the vegetarian and vegan crowds. Just remember, you need 1.5 cups of beans to equal 3 oz of animal protein.

Photo Credit: Admanchester via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Admanchester via Compfight cc

Cauliflower

Who didn’t know someone who tried cauliflower pizza this past year, are we right? Cauliflower has been making headway in the online foodie scene recently. With recipes like cauliflower pizza, fritters, and mashed “potatoes,” cauliflower is quickly becoming the “hidden” vegetable. Don’t let the white color fool you, cauliflower is packed with vitamins and minerals, and we just can’t wait to see the new recipes to come next year! Check out one of our favorite recipes here.

Allergy-Friendly Foods

While we predicted gluten-free foods to be a trend in 2013, we have a feeling they’ll continue to rise in popularity come 2014. We, also, think that allergy-friendly foods, brands like Enjoy Life Foods, will become popular this year. With more and more food brands toting the gluten-free, peanut-free, and casein-free logos, we predict they’ll continue to grow. Food allergies seem to be on the rise, especially among school-aged children, so keep an eye out for kid and allergy-friendly foods.

Photo Credit: prideandvegudice via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: prideandvegudice via Compfight cc

Healthier Fast Food

Fast food continues to stay popular among Americans. We predict a surge of newer fast food options this year. Not only do we think (hope) that the main fast food companies, like McDonalds and Burger King will work to provide healthier food options for consumers, but we also think that some new options will emerge. In NYC alone, there are a number of healthy “fast food” joints popping up all over the place. With options like Hu Kitchen, Mulberry & Vine, and Fresh & Co the idea of grabbing a quick bite to eat may mean going to buy a quinoa-kale salad rather than a double cheeseburger.

Food Apps/Health Trackers

There’s no question that the app business has been drastically growing these past few years. We predict that it will continue to grow, especially in terms of food and health tracking apps. Apps like Fooducate, MyFitnessPal, and Lift have become quite trendy. We also think that their health tracker program counterparts will follow suit. Programs like fitbit, the Jawbone UP band, and Nike+ Fuel Band all track certain aspects of your health and allow you to sync with your computer (or phone) and track your health.

Probiotics

Who knew the word bacteria would be so trendy? 2013 was a big year for probiotics, and we don’t think that they will be going anywhere in 2014. With benefits ranging from improved digestion and preventing constipation, it’s no wonder these little bacteria get so much attention. It’s important to note that the research is still out on all their health effects, however, when on antibiotics or prescribed by a doctor, these microorganisms have been shown to balance the bacteria in your intestines. We’re looking forward to seeing more news and research on probiotics and any additional benefits they may have. Learn more by watching our video here.